Guinness the Smiling Dog

Letter to the editor
By Ann McLean, August 2009

Dear Bark:

Thank you for publishing Guinness’s photo in the Smiling Dogs section of your July/August issue. Guinness is now 13, and this month he had to have back surgery because he was losing the use of his hind legs. We took him to Seattle Veterinary Specialists to get a second opinion because my vet didn’t think there was anything to be done.

My husband and I were expecting the worst, but after they evaluated him, they felt he was a strong, healthy dog and could easily manage surgery; they also suggested that Guinness have an MRI to establish what was causing his weak hind legs. While we were waiting for them to assess Guinness, your July issue was in their waiting room. I grabbed it and showed the vet tech and receptionist Guinness’s photo. They were really excited that they had a patient/star published in Bark. It made for a light moment in a very dark day.

As it turned out, Guinness did have a ruptured disk; he had the surgery and stayed at the clinic for five days. Because of his photo in your magazine, one of the vet techs called him “Hollywood.” He is home now and on the mend. It has been a bumpy month, but he is starting to walk very well and is getting short walks and water/swim therapy. He has a shaved spine that my husband says looks like a clear-cut in the forest.

I can’t say enough good things about Seattle Veterinary Specialists. I have come to learn that people from all over the Puget Sound area go there for pets in grave situations. They have all the equipment, knowledge and compassion.

Ann McLean & Guinness

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